Seven years after, Lagos health facility still under construction
The building and the services it renders are in sharp contrast – The roof of the building is partially ruined, with the walls and the ground floor partly plastered; yet to residents of Low-Cost Housing Estate, Abesan, Ipaja, it is their lifesaver.
Akinyele Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC), Abesan, besides being an uncompleted building, lacks the basic facilities of a healthcare centre.
Interestingly, the construction of the PHC started in 2013, and it is yet to be completed seven years after. The process for the construction started with an invitation to tender, advertised on May 20, 2013.
The tender said: “Interested companies should make a submission in two copies clearly marked ‘Tender’ with evidence of payment of N25,000 non-refundable as the processing fee all forwarded to the address below not later than 3rd June 2013.”
The would-be contractors were also admonished to note that: “Bill of quantities and specifications in respect of the above-listed projects are available for inspection and collection at the council engineer’s office, Mosan Okunola LCDA, Akinogun, Ipaja, Lagos. Prospective tenders are advised to inspect the project before submitting their tender and to indicate the period within which the work would be completed.”
When The Guardian visited the PHC, patients were not available, and health workers were not on duty. Nonetheless, pregnant women and residents keep dates with health workers at the facility every week.
The structure is gradually caving in, as some of the fittings, roofing sheets, and blocks were already broken. On the topmost floor, the roofing sheet and ceiling were partially damaged, including the supporting wood. It is the same with some of the window blinds.
Also, the borehole at the centre was not dispensing water, as it was already damaged. The tap was also broken. The tank meant to serve as a reservoir for water from the borehole is, however, still standing.
If a pregnant woman comes for antenatal at the PHC and needed to use the toilet, she would either go back home or be forced to use a pit latrine outside the PHC. Ironically, the pit latrine, with a wooden house, is rundown, with the woods covering the toilet falling off.
It was gathered though that when pregnant women are drawing close to their due date, they are transferred to a nearby PHC. A worker at the facility, who pleaded anonymity, informed The Guardian during a visit to the PHC.
President of Abesan Housing Estate Residents’ Association, Mr Michael Kehinde, said it is a disgrace that the PHC is still under construction seven years since work started, with the structure already caving in.
“Residents are pained about the development. There are about 6,000 flats within the Jakande Estate, besides adjoining estates like Kings Court, Amosu, and others. In all, there are about 8,000 flats. Yet we have no fully functional health facility. A past chairman of the local council made efforts to erect one, but the project has since been abandoned.
“We are crying to the powers-that-be to come and finish the job. The health centre was constructed to the roofing stage, but because it was abandoned, the building is decaying gradually and may eventually collapse. So, they should do something before it gets worse,” Kehinde said.
The Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board (LPHCB), responding to The Guardian inquiries on the non-completion of the facility, said the project was started by Mosan/Okunola Local Council Development Area, but the LPHCB had decided to intervene to complete the project in 2021.
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